Trio jailed for drug-related temple murder

·3-min read

Three gangsters have been jailed for the shooting murder of a bystander at a Sydney makeshift Buddhist temple and the attempted murder of the real target.

Qin Wu "was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Justice Peter Hamill said on Friday in the NSW Supreme Court.

"Mr Qin was essentially an innocent bystander caught up in what I am satisfied was a shooting that had its genesis in a dispute about drugs and money."

The 37-year-old was shot dead late on February 1, 2017 at the temple in Guilford during "chaotic" events including two separate struggles when a handgun was pointed at the head of Jun Jia.

A NSW Supreme Court jury previously found Ying Cheng Luo, 35, Jaiyu "Da Yu" Liu, 39, and Ian "Michael" Fan, 50, guilty of murder as well as guilty of the attempted murder of Mr Jia.

The judge sentenced Luo to 30 years, Liu to 28 years and Fan to 22 years, with non-parole periods of 20 years, 19 years and 16 years and six months.

Jacob "Shiv" Bayliss, 35, was sentenced to a fixed term of 18 months for supplying a firearm.

The judge was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the murder arose out of a contract to kill Jun Jia, as contended by the prosecution.,

It submitted two serious drug dealers had put out the contract because he owed them a large sum of money for drugs.

"The evidence that there was a drug debt and that Jun Jia was ripping off his fellow drug dealers was convincing, and I have accepted it," the judge said.

"However, the evidence that there was an actual contract to kill Jun Jia is sparse."

He considered it more likely that the trio went to the temple, knowing Jun Jia was there, with an intention to intimidate him into repaying the drug debt.

"They did so, knowing Jun Jia had a reputation for violence, armed with loaded guns and prepared to use those guns.

"When things unfolded as they did, both Mr Liu and Mr Luo formed an intention to kill and Mr Liu discharged the firearm with that murderous and specific intention."

The judge was not satisfied that Fan ever formed such an intention, but his liability arose on the basis of an "extended joint criminal enterprise".

The case was "a very grave example of wanton lawlessness undertaken in the context of a gangland dispute about money and drugs".

"However, I accept that the offenders did not go into the Temple with the intention of carrying out a cold-blooded execution.

"Rather, while they were prepared to use their guns, once Mr Liu and Mr Luo approached and entered the Temple, events got out of hand and their ill-prepared plan to intimidate escalated into murder."

The three men and Bayliss were also sentenced for supplying drugs, while Luo had also been found guilty of earlier firing three shots at a suburban home when two people were inside.

The judge referred to a victim impact statement by Mr Qin's father which described the devastation caused to the family by his death.

His son had been a hardworking and selfless man, who was the primary provider for his family and parents.

"He and the family have my deepest sympathy although no sentence I impose and no words I construct can provide any real comfort," the judge said.

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